Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. It is a time to spend with loved ones and give thanks for another opportunity to gather together. But for many of us, this is our baby’s first Thanksgiving. How exciting………..and stressful.
Think about it mama, you are literally trying to recover from challenging physical and emotional changes in your life. Not only did you deliver your baby, but you’ve done so in the midst of a deadly pandemic. If you consider pre-baby prep, delivery and postpartum recovery, the entire birthing experience is nearly one year. And now, we’re adding holidays to the mix.
But never fret, I have you covered. While the holidays can be incredibly hard for a new mom and baby, I have 7 tips to help get you through baby’s first Thanksgiving.
Place hand sanitizing stations throughout the home
Having hand sanitizer readily accessible in various places of the home will help promote a cleaner and safer environment. This is especially true in areas that see the most traffic: living room, dining room and the kitchen. Additionally, the use of hand sanitizer should absolutely be a requirement before anyone touches your baby.
Choose one person to host and cook
This year has put a wedge in many plans, but it’s better not to hop from house to house. If you plan to gather, it is best to celebrate in one location. You want to keep your baby’s exposure to people very limited.
Additionally, for sanitation safety and to reduce cross contamination, having only one person prepare the meal is recommended. The less cooks in the kitchen, the better.
Shifting responsibilities to one person can feel daunting, but this is the host’s opportunity to get creative with the menu. This may include cutting down the amount of meats, sides and desserts that will be served. If you’re worried this will put a damper on things, send a survey out to get an idea of what folks may want and what they can live without.
Feed your baby appropriately
Meaning no harm, relatives may think this is the perfect time to feed your baby straight off their plate. The rationale is “a little mashed potatoes never hurt anyone.” While this most likely true, if you aren’t ready to table feed your baby, simply let them know. Your family should respect your role as the child’s mother. If they don’t, then simply take your baby back.
Also keep in mind that introducing too many new foods at once can cause digestive issues in your little one.
Choose an adorable outfit for your baby to wear
One of the cool things about having a new baby during the holidays is getting them all dressed up in the cutest festive attire. There’s so many adorable Thanksgiving outfit sets and bibs.
Wear your baby
If you are worried about having your baby passed around too much, bring a carrier or a sling and wear them all day. A great carrier is the Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier. Also, kind in mind that It is perfectly acceptable and possible for guests to interact with your baby from afar while getting the message that you aren’t comfortable with having your baby passed around. Knowing when is the best time to let others hold your baby is completely up to you. No one can decide that for you. Bonus: with both hands free you will still have the ability to stuff your face haha.
Be good to yourself mama
I know that the idea of this being your baby’s first Thanksgiving is exciting, but remember to take care of yourself mama. This may also be doubling as your first Thanksgiving as a mom. Be sure to eat, this is especially important if you’re breastfeeding. Don’t be afraid to ask for or accept help. It is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. Again, this is a stressful time for you. But you have got to be open to the idea of receiving help when necessary. Also, take this time to decompress and relax. You will be so glad that you did!
Never forget to be thankful
With so much going on in the world, remember that your baby is a blessing! God saw fit to create life within you and that is a beautiful thing. Reflect on just how blessed you are to have your little one and a family that loves you and your baby so much.